Profitable Nonprofits

Four of the most profitable hospitals in the nations are nonprofits — and the most profitable of all is in the Upper Midwest.


Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wis., earned a total profit from patient care services of $302.5 million in 2013, according to a report in the May issue of Health Affairs, published online today.

With just 239 beds, the nonprofit Gundersen Lutheran did far better than the 1,484-bed, for-profit Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, which brought in $172.4 million, good for 8th-highest in the country. Gundersen Lutheran took in $4,241 in profit “per adjusted discharge,” compared with $988 for Methodist Hospital of San Antonio, according to the report.

The report was written by Ge Bai of Washington and Lee University and Gerard Anderson of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They used fiscal year 2013 Medicare Cost Reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, examining profitability from patient care services for about 3,000 U.S. acute-care hospitals, according to a summary from Health Affairs.

The top 5:

  1. Gundersen Lutheran, La Crosse, Wis., nonprofit, 239 beds, $302.5 million profit
  2. Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Calif., nonprofit, 654 beds, $271.9 million
  3. Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Palo Alto, Calif., nonprofit, 444 beds, $224.7 million
  4. Norton Hospital, Louisville, Ky., nonprofit, 1,295 beds, $211.2 million
  5. Medical City Dallas Hospital, Dallas, for-profit, 668 beds, $210.3 million


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